Columns > Music

Sunday, March 6 2011

The Blessing and the Curse of the Grammys

Bieber Fever raged when Esperanza Spalding bumped the boy aside to claim the 2011 Grammys Best New Artist award, but do jazz fans really give a damn about the Grammys?


Wednesday, March 2 2011

The Extinction of Electronic Music Giants

The year 2010 saw two iconic music medium figures go out of production. Panasonic's Technics SL-1200 turntables, the primary tool of DJs since 1972, and Sony's cassette-based Walkman, which put mobile music in over 100 million ears since 1979. Both went the way of the dodo.


Tuesday, March 1 2011

Marxism: The Music Theory That Never Goes Out of Style

How fitting that a post-punk band from the late '70s, fascinated by the Marxist metaphysics of modernity, would re-emerge to remind us that nothing new has happened in rock in decades. Of course Thom Yorke might disagree...


Sunday, February 27 2011

Something 2 Grind 2: An Interview with Graf Orlock

Constructed around loads of ingeniously-timed movie samples, Graf Orlock's music is some of the most fun grindcore you'll ever hear, psychotic and chaotic yet insidiously catchy, but the first impression is always unforgettable, thanks to their artwork.


Wednesday, February 23 2011

Duke Ellington Is Heard Loud and Clear on Old 78s, Across Decades of Time

From dusty old 78s placed tenderly on the console to reissue CDs spinning easily on the latest-model boom box, Duke Ellington's music spans generations of technology and memory, as told here by the son of a 90-year-old man who loved the Duke.


Sunday, February 20 2011

Soundscape Mix #12: Muti Music

Through dedication to their scene and aesthetic, Bay area label Muti Music is on the brink of greatness. Unwavering commitment to their form is demonstrated by the dependable quality of their consistent releases. Dig it.


Tuesday, February 15 2011

Clean Feed Records and Mary Halvorson: Promises of Good Things to Come in Jazz

The promise of great jazz for the next year, or ten, was struck in 2010 by guitarist Mary Halvorson and Clean Feed Records.


Sunday, February 13 2011

Punk Rock? It’s a Black, Jewish, Southern Thang

Punk is no vacuum, no airtight, sealed white music form. It's a repository of culture -- magnetized, manifold, and chock-full of merit – that was, and is, impacted by Jewish, black, and Southern experiences.


Thursday, February 3 2011

Walk This Way: The Commodification of Hip-Hop

Now here's a little story, we've got to tell, about the business of hip-hop, you know so well. It started way back in history, from Alexander Hamilton down to Jay-Z.


Monday, January 31 2011

Que Pasa, New York?

How do artists get their work done in other cities of the world? Where is it viable to live? It's probably silly to begin our investigation in New York. Just 30 years ago, New York was still opening its arms to the tired, poor, huddled masses of creatives. But now?


Sunday, January 30 2011

All or Nothing! Back to the ‘80s With Cauldron

Got a craving for some classic heavy metal? Canadian trio Cauldron evokes the classic sounds and aesthetic of the '80s better than anyone today.


Thursday, January 27 2011

The Science of Sleep: The Electronic Lullaby

In the age of access, it’s possible that Raymond Scott, Kraftwerk, and ARP may become as essential tools for infant soothing as “Rock-A-Bye Baby”.


Wednesday, January 26 2011

So “Cool Cymru”, Part Three: Welsh Wits

Like that other seven-piece Welsh combo, Goldie Lookin Chain, Los Campesinos! are comedic chroniclers of a particular youth demographic.


Tuesday, January 25 2011

The Past Is Never Past: How Country Music Remembers

Each year brings a slew of rock 'n' roll reissues or tributes, celebrating the anniversary of landmark albums from the past. Country music, however, tends to view its past differently.


Thursday, January 13 2011

Lil’ Pookie’s America: Some Big Shoes to Fill

How can a kid from the 'hood today measure up to the likes of Duke Ellington? or Hank Aaron? A mythical boy from the 'hood meets these major black American figures through three recent books: 'Duke Ellington's America', 'The Last Hero' and 'Willie Mays'.


Tuesday, January 4 2011

Private Universe: Crowded House Salvages 2010

One concert experience can be a magic reminder of why you fell in love with music in the first place.


Monday, January 3 2011

Deciphering the Jay-Z Code

He's got 99 problems but a book ain't one. Jay-Z's nonlinear memoir illuminates rap as personal narrative, lyric poetry, and transformative medium.


Sunday, January 2 2011

Modern Guitar Stripped Bare: An Interview with Rez Abbasi

The Pakistani-American jazz guitarist reflects on playing beyond cliché, playing acoustic, finding unity, and making a living.


Thursday, December 23 2010

Soundscape Mix #11: Happy Holidays

The holidays are full of dreadful music being pumped from every speaker in every commercial business. May the latest from Soundscape provide you with a pleasant respite of solace, a bit of shelter from all the pop star vanity and pseudo-comedic novelty albums that attempt to penetrate your earholes from every angle.


The Best Metal Albums of 2010

In the end, the metal world honored the memory of Ronnie James Dio in the coolest possible way: by making this the best year for new music the genre has seen in a very long time.


//Mixed media
//Blogs

Authenticity Issues and the New Intimacies

// Marginal Utility

"The social-media companies have largely succeeded in persuading users of their platforms' neutrality. What we fail to see is that these new identities are no less contingent and dictated to us then the ones circumscribed by tradition; only now the constraints are imposed by for-profit companies in explicit service of gain.

READ the article